Learning for the future
February 24, 2023
The 20th Century Management guru, Peter Drucker is credited as saying:
“We now accept that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.”
In recent years, the Senior School has seen a sustained increase in student numbers. Whenever I interview new prospective students and their families, one of the things I like to point out is that at TIGS, our curriculum – our day to day programmes of learning, and 58 minute lessons – are really just the beginning of what our students learn during their time with us. The wealth of co-curricular activities, competitions, events, service opportunities and camps – all delivered through our commitment to Christian care – all serve to engage, stimulate and challenge our students to step out of their comfort zone and to embrace the initial discomfort that precedes learning something new.
But learning is not limited to our students.
This week, 23 of our staff, each holding a leadership responsibility in the School, came together to focus on their respective areas of focus arising from the aims set out in our new Strategic Plan. It was an invigorating morning in which experiences were shared, barriers to progress were discussed and solutions and new practices started to emerge. In keeping with Drucker’s quote above, it is my experience that managing and responding to change is always ultimately about learning because it is involves adaptation, application, progress and growth and in this respect, the experience of learning for leaders and teachers across the School bears many similarities to the day to day experiences of our students.
Over the coming terms, many departments have chosen to engage with the part of the Strategic Plan that aims to develop the role of feedback, and particularly, its significance to enhancing student growth. During next week’s Professional Development day, all Senior School academic staff will spend the day collaborating and learning together about the efficacy and purpose of varying types of feedback as we continue to focus on professional learning that is designed to have a real impact on our students’ learning. This will form the latest part of our Visible Learning work which will continue throughout 2023.
Next Wednesday, our Senior School assembly will have a focus on academic excellence. We will welcome back our alumnus Harrison Ledger, who achieved a Band 6 (or equivalent) in every one of his HSC subjects, as well as hearing from a number of his peers from the Class of 2022, who have been asked to discuss their experiences, successful strategies and ultimately what they have learned about effective learning during their road to academic success during their time at TIGS.
Teaching people how to learn – and indeed sharing in that learning with them – is a large part of what makes education so rewarding. So, if you usually ask your son or daughter ‘what did you learn at School this week?’ why not supercharge the question from now on and add, ‘…and how did you learn it?’